NEWS

JULY 16TH 2019

1st Military Working Dog Squadron Tackle Commander’s Canine Competition

JIAG 2019 MWD CO Annual Biathalon 061

Some of the participants in the Commander's Canine Challenge

Military Working Dogs and their handlers have demonstrated their unique bond during the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) (1 MWD Regt) Commander’s Canine Challenge.

The arduous 12-kilometre cross-country course included eight military stands that tested the fitness, training, skills and endurance of both the dog handlers and the military working dogs whilst also being a great sporting event.

One of the teams providing emergency first aid

One of the teams providing emergency first aid

Overall victory went to Team 105A from 105 Military Working Dog Squadron (MWD Sqn). Prizes for the best individual performances were awarded to Corporal Hewitt from 105 MWD Sqn for Best Team Commander, Private Emma Gooden and Military Working Dog Tess from 102 MWD Sqn for Best Protection Team and Private Bobbi Norman and Military Working Dog Bod from 104 MWD Sqn for Best Search Team. 

Private Bobbi Norman said: “It didn’t feel like work; it’s been a really good day. We’ve had to take plenty of water breaks for both ourselves and our dogs because of the heat, but it’s great to be outside spending all day with our dogs.”

Taking on the agility course

Taking on the agility course

The stands included an obstacle course which saw the dogs and their handlers crawling under netting, negotiating tunnels and climbing low walls. Strength was tested when the soldiers had to carry their dog 100-metres between obstacles.

The Agility Stand saw the dogs and their handlers tackle a variety of obstacles, both natural and man-made. Pushing the dogs in a wheel barrow was one of the more unusual obstacles here and really challenged the teams, testing the handler’s originality of thought as much as the dog’s obedience. 

MWD Skills were really put to the test during the Obedience Stand, which featured tennis balls on poles and bowls of sausages laid out to act as distractors. The demanding scenarios created for the Search and Protection stands allowed the MWD teams to demonstrate their prowess within their specific areas.

Handlers loooking after their dogs at the first aid stand

Handlers loooking after their dogs at the first aid stand

Contact drills were tested on the Battlecraft Syllabus Stand and the soldiers’ marksmanship was evaluated in the Dismounted Close Combat Trainer.

 The teams also found themselves giving emergency first aid and evacuating one of the dogs at the Pre-Veterinary Emergency Care stand. The dogs receiving the treatment were life-sized, life-like manikins which provide realistic training for veterinary techniques that may be needed in the field.

Private Ben Last who competed with MWD Charlie said: “It’s been good to get competitive. We all wanted to do well, and Charlie has been great. He’s a little cheeky at times but great at his job.”

Event Organiser Major Jo Gillies from 1 MWD Regt said: “The competition has brought the Regiment together whilst testing important military skills. The climbing, lifting, jumping, shooting and the endurance that have all been tested in this competition are essential skills that the military working dog handlers and their working dogs have to have for their jobs. This is simply testing those skills in a fun environment.”

“It didn’t feel like work; it’s been a really good day. We’ve had to take plenty of water breaks for both ourselves and our dogs because of the heat, but it’s great to be outside spending all day with our dogs.”